E.ON, 9 water utilities in dispute over electricity tariffs

Analysis

Nine local water supply companies are stuck with higher electricity tariffs as a result from an ongoing dispute with a regional power distributor owned by Germany's E.ON.

The water utilities in Silistra, Razgrad, Varna, Veliko Tarnovo, Dobrich, Ruse, Gabrovo, Isperih and Targovishte have to enforce higher customer service tariffs to deflect their electricity costs which account for up to 40% of their operating costs. The said utilities, which pump water from a significant depth, have asked the power regulator to approve a price increase in the aftermath of the new electricity tariffs that took effect in early July.

The utilities operate their own transformers and power grids but are billed by the regional power distributor under the low-voltage tariff instead of the mid-voltage tariff. The State Energy and Water Regulatory Commission has weighed in, giving instructions that the metering point should be located at the dividing line between the networks of the end-consumer and the distributor.

The commission estimates that the enforcement of the low-voltage tariff adds 2.2 million levs to the combined annual electricity bill of the nine utilities in question. The managements of the water utilities declined to comment, saying their negotiations with E.ON are still in progress. E.ON Bulgaria Networks said it has granted the wish of all customers that have requested a change in the metering method. (Dnevnik)

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